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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm editing the first sequel in my book series so it won't be so exposition heavy in the first chapter. I'm currently writing the prologue which takes place right where the first book left off and I was thinking of a way to show that not much really occurred in between the prologue and the first chapter. Then I remembered that Twilight did do something kinda clever when it wanted to convey that a character spent several months feeling empty after their breakup by leaving pages blank except for the name of the month. I do want a second opinion first though, do you guys think it sounds like an interesting idea?
 

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I thought it was a terrific idea and very effective--when Twilight did it. But I think it's one of those things that you can't just copy. It was too unique. (At least, I've never seen it done anywhere else.) I also think it would be very strange at the beginning of a book. (And now that I think of it, I'm not even sure what your idea is. How would a trick for showing the passage of time work to show the non-passage of time?) I don't think you should really need to be blatant about this starting right after the end of the previous book. Just pick up where you left off, make it clear that the setting and situation is the same by referencing a few things from whatever was happening before, and I think readers should pick up on it, especially if they're binge-reading the series.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ShawnaReads said:
I thought it was a terrific idea and very effective--when Twilight did it. But I think it's one of those things that you can't just copy. It was too unique. (At least, I've never seen it done anywhere else.) I also think it would be very strange at the beginning of a book. (And now that I think of it, I'm not even sure what your idea is. How would a trick for showing the passage of time work to show the non-passage of time?) I don't think you should really need to be blatant about this starting right after the end of the previous book. Just pick up where you left off, make it clear that the setting and situation is the same by referencing a few things from whatever was happening before, and I think readers should pick up on it, especially if they're binge-reading the series.
Yeah you're right, thanks for the feedback
 

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Starcatcher said:
I remembered that Twilight did do something kinda clever when it wanted to convey that a character spent several months feeling empty after their breakup by leaving pages blank except for the name of the month. I do want a second opinion first though, do you guys think it sounds like an interesting idea?
You are most definitely asking for trouble if you do this.
 

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+1 using blank pages would be problematic.

Best way is to just drop the reader in the middle of action. If you want to reference that only boring things happened the last year, only if it is important later in the story, you could have one character ask what happened they didn't hear anything and the main character could say they got lost playing video games and the whole summer had gone by before they realized it or they took a break at their family's lake cottage. Something simple and in passing.

Since you are editing the book because you have it finished, you might pick out whatever major scene/event happens late in the story and bring something of that back to their initial statement that seems just as unconnected and unimportant as swimming at the family's lake cottage at the beginning but it may have been three houses away from the villain/stray cat of the love interest/dog that solves the murder/tin-foil-hat neighbor that saved everyone from the aliens/etc. Then you will seem exceptionally clever 8)

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I haven't published my WIP trilogy yet, but I faced something sort of similar. Obviously if you've already published the first book, then this wouldn't apply. Anyway, instead of a prologue, I'm adding an epilogue to the first book as time wise it carries on and as it's describing a bunker where they arrive after the end of action and conclusion to the 1st plot. it seems to fit and most of it is descriptive which would be boring as a prologue or 1st chapter but interesting for the reader as they had been trying to get there for the entire book.

As for the beginning of the 2nd book my first to the third chapters occurs months apart, but I'm simply typing a time stamp after the chapter number and title.

Saying that, what was done in Twilight, with respect is not unique. I can't remember it now, but it's either Patterson or a top thriller writer has done the same or similar. I've also seen a page with only one word on it saying NEXT for a time transition. Don't know if they did this in the ebook, but it was like this in the print book
 

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I often read things in series and then when months later a new book comes out, i forgot what was what. I would love if those in series book had not a prologue but a previously on to remind me of key players, plot points. As seen on tv that is never about new story but exactly about that - previously on. Similar to TV if I do not want it i can skip it - I would not do so with a prologue as it usually contains story.

I understand that this is different from your question but it might take out some of your problems to have something like that in it - also in your first book; the teaser promo for the next. TV has used this successfully for decades and everybody is used to  that - we should take ideas from it. ;)
 

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Using the design itself as a device to drive the story kind of goes against the basics of book design, namely that it shouldn't draw much attention to itself. It can be done well, but it has a lot to overcome to earn that place. The example in the OP: this doesn't quite rise to that level for me, and also feels like it introduces some small friction to the read by having to page through lots of blanks. And not very portable, as even now e-readers using a scroll view would render that pretty strangely (and be arguably even more annoying). To say nothing of assistive devices that would likely read it out just as a list of months. I think it's best not to tether the content so closely to its presentation that things fall apart when they are separated.
 

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Empty pages may have worked in Twilight but I would come up with another way of doing it, personally. What if your potential reader looks at the LookInside and doesn't get the meaning of the blank / mostly blank pages?

For one thing, empty pages may or may not be considered 'padding' by the powers that be. Plus, there has to be a better way of getting the point of the transition across.
 

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I used to worry about transitions a lot, until a pal said, "Nah, you just type a few asterisks, then you type 'Six months later, ....'"
 
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